UFV Alumni start a business to provide free printing for students in Canada

Dhruv Gogna and Samash Sandhu, two UFV alumni who began their academic journey with Fraser Valley India, have commenced a business providing free printing services for UFV students. The two have partnered with local businesses in the Fraser Valley, who are enthusiastic about sponsoring printing for UFV students in exchange for targeted marketing.

The two alumni came up with the idea in January 2019 with the welfare of students in mind, especially international students, who are only permitted to work 20 hours a week and often grapple financially while they are here. After surveying a sample of 100 students, Gogna and Sandhu discovered that students paid, on average, $140 per semester for printing assignments and more in specific majors (Gogna said that his marketing major in his BBA at UFV needed a lot of colour prints each class for assignments) that require colour prints. So the two came up with a solution that could benefit both small businesses in Abbotsford as well as UFV students wanting to save some money.

When a student registers as a PrintIt user, they select from a list of goods and services they are interested in, such as restaurants, coffee shops, hair salons, auto repair, pet stores, clothing stores. The student then receives their prints with advertising in the form of coupons and other deals from a local small business that fits within their selected interests. These businesses have paid Gogna and Sandhu to cover the cost of printing student’s documents, and in exchange, they get their brand in front of their target audience.

How the advertisement is displayed to the student depends on the type of document they print. For a rough draft or notes, there will be a small advertisement on the bottom of the page. For an assignment, the ad will be on the backside of the paper, and for a final project, the student receives a separate perforated paper containing an advertisement.

There are currently around 115 students registered in the PrintIt database, 17 businesses sponsoring the prints, and 50-60 students who have taken advantage of the free printing. Gogna and Sandhu are currently printing all of the documents in an office off-campus and personally delivering the prints to students. The two have realized this type of business model is unsustainable and wish to scale the business to reach a more significant proportion of UFV students and become more convenient for students who want to print last-minute assignments. They are currently working on obtaining an office on campus, specifically in the Student Union Building.

Gogna and Sandhu have made a presentation to SUS representatives, including Tripat Sandhu, the current Student Union Society President, in February 2020 to speak on the possibility of operating in the SUS building.